West Indies Brace for South Africa, Aussies, Pakistan in Hectic Home Schedule

jason holder west indies
Jason Holder earned widespread praise for leading the West Indies’ tour of England in the midst of a global pandemic (Mike Hewitt/NMC Pool/PA)

Cricket West Indies on Friday announced a hectic international home itinerary for the remainder of the year, with South Africa, Australia and Pakistan scheduled to play a myriad of Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals across five countries in the space of three months.

South Africa will arrive in June for two Tests in St Lucia and five T20 Internationals in Grenada, kicking off the schedule which will mark one of the busiest domestic programmes in recent memory.

In July, Australia will then engage the home side in five T20Is in St Lucia and three ODIs in Barbados, which will then host the first two T20Is of the five-match series against Pakistan, with Guyana staging the last three.

Jamaica will lower the curtain on the international schedule by putting on two Tests against Pakistan in August.

The tours will take place in the now customary bio-secure bubble amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and CWI chief executive Johnny Grave described the undertaking as “enormous”.

“Following the successful hosting of the all-format series against Sri Lanka earlier this year, we are delighted to announce that we are set to welcome South Africa, Australia and Pakistan to the West Indies,” the Englishman said in a statement.

“To host three international teams back-to-back in five territories is unprecedented, and putting these fixtures together was an enormous COVID-related logistical challenge.

“We must thank the visiting teams for agreeing to travel at this challenging period for world cricket and we are especially grateful to our regional Governments who are playing such a vital role in partnering with CWI to ensure that International cricket can be hosted safely, while providing entertainment for our loyal fans and income for our cricketers and cricket communities.”

Sri Lanka’s Test and white-ball tour of the Caribbean in March was played in Antigua behind closed doors but CWI said it had not yet decided whether there would be in-house attendance for any of the upcoming fixtures.

The governing body said it was in constant discussions with respective territorial boards, along with the Ministries of Health and Sport in each jurisdiction, to “orchestrate all the logistics and agree the safety and medical protocols for the tour.”

“All players, support staff and match officials will stay, train and play in a bio-secure environment, with regular COVID-19 PCR testing taking place with assistance from Ministries of Health and from CARPHA,” CWI added.

South Africa will play back-to-back Tests from June 10-22 at the Darren Sammy National Stadium in Gros Islet before featuring in five T20Is at the Grenada National Stadium from June 26 to July 3.

The five-match T20I series against Australia will run from July 9-16 in Gros Islet while the three ODIs in Barbados will be played at Kensington Oval from July 20-24.

From July 27 to August 3, Pakistan will clash with the hosts in the five-match T20I rubber before the series concludes at Sabina Park in Jamaica with two Tests from August 12-24.

Ireland’s white ball tour in January last year was the lone international series staged in the Caribbean during 2020 as the raging COVID-19 pandemic forced CWI to scrap all remaining engagements.

CMC

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